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    Posted April 24, 2014 by

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    Medicines for poor Filipinos pushed

    A Philippine lawmaker on Thursday said he filed a bill urging local government units (LGUs) to set aside a portion of their internal revenue allotments (IRA) for free medicines to indigent patients in their areas.
    "Medical attention without the concomitant medicines being administered to the patients is meaningless," Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.
    Rodriguez said House Bill 3300 mandates local government units to allocate a part of their IRAs for free medicines to make meaningful and complete the free medical care program for the poor.
    "The most appropriate and quick source of funding for free medicines to indigent patients is the IRA of LGUs," he pointed out.
    Rodriguez lamented that indigent patients in public hospitals do not receive the needed medical attention for lack of means to buy medicines as prescribed.
    "Again, poverty is depriving many indigent patients of the rare opportunity of medical advancement and recent discoveries on cure of diseases because the medicines are hardly affordable and far from the indigent patients' reach," the lawmaker stressed.
    Section 1 of HB 3300 clearly states: "It shall be the obligation of all local governments to set aside and earmark a portion of their Internal Revenue Allotments (IRA) for appropriation for free medicines to be distributed to the public hospitals, clinics, dispensaries or other outlets to indigent patients for free in their localities."
    The proposed law also provides that "all pharmacies or outlets distributing or dispensing free medicines shall render periodic accounting of such disbursement duly posted in at least three public boards specifying the patients’ name, address, doctor prescribing the medicine and the amount or cost of the medicines."
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